Flashback to when my tiny one was 4 months:

My four-month-old went to bed early tonight, then she woke 40 minutes later, and though I fed her, she woke right up. Apparently, bedtime wasn’t bedtime, it was a nap. I didn’t know that. She probably didn’t know that. 

When I had my first, this would’ve thrown me for six. 

  • What was this? 
  • Why are you waking so soon after going down?
  • Why did you wake last night after one cycle but then went back to sleep with some boob but tonight, you were up?
  • Why?

I would’ve been googling. 

I would’ve been worried. 

  • What did this mean?
  • Is this the dreaded sleep regression?
  • Is this because I nurse to sleep?
  • Maybe you have to learn to self settle?
  • Have I set up negative sleep associations so now you have no idea how to sleep without a boob in your face?
  • What is going on and how the hell do I fix it?!?

But she’s not my first, she’s my third and honestly, I am not worried. Not one bit. 

She woke because she did. 

She didn’t go back to sleep because she didn’t need to. 

She went to bed again a bit later with a bit more boob. 

The night isn’t ruined. Her sleep isn’t ruined. 

I haven’t done anything wrong. 

I hate what our ridiculous society has done to babies and our families. Diagnosing, pathologising, fearmongering perfectly normal sleep behaviour

Yep, babies often go through periods of time where they do wake soon after they go to bed. Sure, it can be inconvenient. I was making dinner for my two older kids and my husband and me when she woke. They were hungry and impatient. 

Would life have been easier at that moment if she hadn’t have woken? Yep. 

Was I a little frustrated? Yep. 

Does it mean I have to *do* anything about it? Nope. 

Sometimes, sleep and our evenings and our plans and our ‘me-time’ or ‘couple-time’ just does not happen. 

It can be like that for months sometimes. 

Things get messy. 

Life is unpredictable or predictably unpredictable or even predictably challenging. 

Does it mean our child is broken? No, it bloody well does not. 

Not fitting in with what we imagined or how we wish life would be IS NOT A SLEEP PROBLEM!!

It’s a lifestyle issue and that is on us adults to deal with. 

Tips to help you feel more rested

So what did I do?

I went to my baby. I offered her boob in case she wanted to go straight back to sleep. 

She didn’t so instead of getting angry with her and spending the next hour or so in the dark insisting she go back to sleep, I got her up and ate my dinner that my husband had finished and served. I talked with my husband about his day and to my kids and she perched on my knee and her daddy’s and lived life with our family. 

When she was tired, I fed her to sleep and she went down. 

She might wake in 40 minutes again, but she still won’t be broken. She might not wake for 2,3,4 hours, hell, she sometimes does 8 hours ...

Whatever it is, I won’t be wasting even a second of my energy questioning why. 

She’s my baby. 

She needs me at night. 

Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. 

Either way, we’ll make it through this time together.

text: with love, Carly image of a darkhaired fair skinned woman in a pink shirt sitting in the grass. Text: Little Sparklers founder

Banner image credit: Vida Images

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